Stock Your Party Pantry!

In the blink of an eye we will go from this scorching summer to a scorching California winter. We will shop for unique halloween costumes, Thanksgiving stretchy pants, boastfully beautiful Christmas trees and New Year's dresses that remind us of shiny disco balls. In between we will party. For some, it's almost weekly. This can get really expensive really fast and cause multiple trips to the store which means spending more money and not necessarily because it's some really cool item that was worth your $20. So, I figured I'd help you stock your PARTY PANTRY and gift you some ideas for immediate celebratory relief that makes you look like the ultimate gift giver. First, let's start with the BIRTHDAY CANDLE BLOWOUT with some of my favorites from around town.

1) Gold Leaf Petite birthday candles! 18 to a box, these dainty golden beauties are perfect for any cake or cupcake, even minis. The box is tiny enough to keep tucked away in your purse for last minute emergencies. Yes, it's an emergency when you have a birthday cake and no candle so why not add superhero to your list by keeping these in tow?

Who makes them: GlitterVille Studios

Where I found them: Lula Mae, Pasadena

What they cost: $10

2) Happy Birthday brand matchstick party candles! Colorful and larger than a typical top-of-the-treat illuminator, these rainbow hued matchsticks are perfect to have on hand for any purpose. Besides, don't people collect matchsticks? 

Who makes them: www.ONEHUNDRED80DEGREES.COM

Where I found them: Lula Mae, Pasadena

What they cost: $7.50

3) Explosive birthday candles that will light up your cake, and the night sky for 45 seconds. 

Where I found them: Amazon 

What they cost: $5.92 + free shipping 

Now, let's move on to the edible options. You can keep cake mix on hand if you're down for the almost DIY option. My pick would be Duncan Hines Butter Golden. Here's a tip to make the mix with a couple alterations for a more dense, delicious version:

  • Substitute the water for one cup of buttermilk
  • Use 4 eggs
  • Follow directions for oil as listed
  • Bake at 325 

Where I found it: any local grocer

What it costs: As little as $2

If you're in the San Gabriel Valley, keep Auntie Apple's phone number stored in your phone. She is the go-to themed expert on everything custom, thoughtful and delicious. She takes custom orders as small as half a dozen and can make just about anything under the sun. At only $2.50 a cookie for most of her options you can look like a rockstar that put tons of time (and thought) in by simply planning a week or two ahead:

Where I found her: Auntie Apple 

What they cost: $2.50-$3.00 per cookie + delivery

Next up is Sisters' Gourmet Billion Dollar Brownie Mix. It's great for gifting, baking or grabbing on the way out for a housewarming party. It doesn't even need to be wrapped!

Where I found it: Sur La Table 

What it costs: $12.95

Now, on to the fun stuff. A few accessories I found while at Lula Mae that made for humorous additions to your PARTY PANTRY. You can visit them in person or online and here's how:

Lula Mae | 100 N. Fair Oaks Avenue | Pasadena, CA 91103 (626) 304-9996 

Happy birthday ice cream cone glasses, $10

*DISCLOSURE - if you're easily offended, don't scroll. People with adult humor celebrate parties, too so we had to pick up a couple laughs for the mature gift giver:

Porn confetti - $2.50 + vulgar birthday balloons - $1.25 each 

How was that for a laugh?

To recap, here's your party pantry shopping & stocking list:

  • candles, lots of them
  • cake mix/brownie mix
  • confetti
  • balloons
  • a handy list of great bakers (like Auntie Apple and Merengue Bakery in So Cal)

Also, Starbuck's has an email a gift card option that's great for the friend you've forgotten:  

And finally, stock your pantry with end of season clearance items. These are great for seasonal birthdays because remember a sweet personal cake, cute cocktail napkins and a beautiful candle are the perfect gift for under $25! Check Tuesday Morning, The Dollar Tree, Target and Michael's for savings of 60%-80% off!